City votes to buy homes near ditch


GREENFIELD — The city of Greenfield will offer to buy five local homes to have them demolished for the Potts Ditch relocation project.

The Greenfield Board of Works Tuesday agreed to offer a total of $265,000 for the homes at 20, 34, 35, 37 and 106 W. Fourth St. While the city has purchased strips of land for public improvement projects in the past, this is the first time the city could buy entire homes for one project.

Utility director Mike Fruth says the offers could help the homeowners get out of a floodway, but the city doesn’t intend to forcefully acquire the properties if the initial offers are refused.

“If the offer is accepted, we would work toward final papers to close that,” Fruth told the board. “If it’s not, we’re not going to continue. We have no plans at all to go through eminent domain to acquire those properties.”

Homeowners will each be offered between $48,500 and $58,000 for their homes, based on a recent appraisal of the properties. Fruth estimates it will cost just under $39,000 to demolish all five homes.

Homeowners will have 30 days to accept the offers.

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